November 6th – November 9th 2012, Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop 12452
Publication Culture in Computing Research
Marc Herbstritt (Schloss Dagstuhl, DE)
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For support, please contact
Andrew P. Bernat (Computing Research Association, US)
Jon Crowcroft (University of Cambridge, GB)
Jan van Leeuwen (Utrecht University, NL)
Bertrand Meyer (ETH Zürich, CH)
Fred B. Schneider (Cornell University - Ithaca, US)
Douglas B. Terry (Microsoft Research - Mountain View, US)
The dissemination of research results is an integral part of research and hence a crucial component for any scientific discipline. While computing research has been phenomenally successful, there is a broad feeling that the publication models are quite often obstacles. Yet there is no agreement on whether the publication models need to be radically changed or fine tuned, and there is no agreement on how such change may occur. Over the past few years, a vigorous discussion has been going on through editorials, Viewpoint articles, and blogs of the Communication of the ACM - see Jonathan Grudin's overview available at http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/UM/People/jgrudin/publications/publicationculture/CACMreferences.pdf.
In spite of this ongoing debate, the community seems no closer to an agreement whether a change has to take place and how to effect such a change.
The workshop brought together key players in this debate for an intense three-day discussion and deliberation, with the aim of analyzing the issues and developing guidelines for the way forward. A specific focus of the workshop was to develop consensus around a set of guiding principles. An expected outcome of the workshop is a manifesto to be published afterwards.
The workshop addressed several topics that were part of the community's collective conversation on publication culture during the last years:
- The uniqueness of the publication model in computing research:
- the emphasis on conference publishing and the decline of journal publishing;
- the large and growing number of specialty conferences and workshops that are really conferences;
- coping with established publication cultures in the (other) sciences and with the different cultures of different computing sub-communities.
- Cultural issues:
- the culture of hypercritical reviewing and the decline of thorough constructive reviewing;
- tenure and promotion practices that encourage short-term research;
- the influence of bibliometry on publication behavior and tenure practices and the quality of bibliometry.
- New publication models:
- the tension between open access and reader-pays publishing, and the spectrum in between;
- the role of social media in scholarly publishing;
- the role of various actors: commercial publishers, scientific societies, academic publishers and archives;
- the place of self-publishing or publishing in public repositories;
- the need to develop new rules for data citation, sharing, and archiving.
The main outcomes will be covered in the upcoming manifesto that will be published in the "Dagstuhl Manifestos" series http://drops.dagstuhl.de/dagman.